LAW 522-001 – Civil Procedure II

Voluntary Dismissal


A plaintiff can voluntarily dismiss his case without a court order if done before either an answer or summary judgment motion is filed. Rule 41(a)(1)(A). However, most states allow dismissal after a motion to dismiss.

The first voluntary dismissal is without prejudice, but a second dismissal would be with prejudice. Rule 41(a)(1)(B).

A suit can also be dismissed by stipulation by both parties. This is without prejudice unless stipulated otherwise.

If an answer or summary judgment motion has been filed, court approval is needed to dismiss the suit. This is without prejudice unless the court orders otherwise, which it can do. Rule 41(a)(2).